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Stage your home for sale

Tips for selling a home in the slow summer months:

•Keep the air conditioning running to ensure that the house is cooler than normal, especially on the upper floors, which tend to be warmer.

•With kids out of school, keeping the home clean becomes more of a challenge. Try to send the children to camp or to stay with grandparents during the first few weeks of a summer listing.

•Prevent the accumulation of odors inside the house, which can be pronounced in the summer. Eliminate pet odors and keep the garbage outdoors.

•Keep drapes open (or even remove them) to let in as much natural light as possible, and keep windows clean.

•Pack away winter clothing to make more room in your closets.

•Have fresh fruit and chilled water or lemonade on hand for prospective buyers.

•Keep the lawn manicured and plant colorful flowers to enhance curb appeal.

•Stage the outside of the home to simulate preparations for an outdoor gathering.

•Enhance the atmosphere of a backyard or a terrace with a trickling fountain.

– Michele Lerner, special to the Washington Post